The numbers behind the proration numbers

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

TALLAPOOSA CO., AL (WSFA) - Teacher Mona Coan is a textbook case of how the 3% proration will impact teachers statewide. Coan has a few computers in her Tallapoosa County classroom that either need to be repaired or replaced.

After the funding cuts come down chances are Coan's computers will just sit there.

"We knew we were going to be hit hard, so this is no surprise," said Coan.

Slicing 3% from the education budget means Tallapoosa County will lose nearly $420,000.

A prominent economist in the state says things might be different today had the economy started getting better last June instead of later in the year.

"That made a big difference because there is always a lag," said Dr. Keivan Deravi, a professor of economics at Auburn Montgomery.

However: "Since December and January the collection of sales taxes has been healthier," Deravi explains.

That means there is a distinct possibility Governor Robert Bentley could revise his 3% proration in education and the proposed 15% cut in the general fund *if* the economy continues to improve.

Dr. Deravi says April and May will be the key months.

"Taxes are due the 15th and any refunds typically go out first followed by income from taxpayers," Deravi said.

Regardless of what Alabama's economy looks like in a few months, next year promises to be a challenge. That's because the federal stimulus funds won't be there.

For now until the economy decides which it's going educators like Mona Coan are learning patience and the ropes of how all those numbers tie in together.

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